Imran Khan Vs Keith Miller
this question does my head in and i can never conclusively pick one above the other.
the main thing i struggle with is comparing them as bowlers. some say imran is far and away better than miller as a bowler. a lot of people consider imran to be in the top 10 fast bowlers all time, even top 5 whereas miller could struggle to make the top 20.
was the difference in their bowling that great? for me the 2 most important stats in bowling are average and strike rate. they have similar averages but imran has a much better strike rate. however you have to take the different era's into account. in miller's era a strike rate of in the low 60s was top class whereas in imran's era that sort of strike rate meant nothing. both have been described as bowlers who could devastate batting line-ups. not having seen miller bowl and very little footage being available it makes this comparison difficult.miller no question was one of and perhaps by some accounts the best fast bowler of his time (so was imran), but whilst he was up there his name isn't mentioned as an ATG fast bowler like imran is, plus in miller's time there weren't so many great fast bowlers (imran's career span had a lot of great fast bowlers). as far as FC stats that might be of some value to this discussion, miller's strike rate drops just like imran's when bringing in FC stats and miller's moves down into the mid 50s with imrans being right around 50. one big difference though is 5 and 10 wicket hauls, though this is at least partly due to miller bowling a lot less overs.
batting wise they are very similar in outcome at test level in terms of average, though miller despite having played many less tests did accumulate one more test century than imran (less 50s but that's expected based on the amount of matches they played). miller batted in the top 5 for one of the strongest test teams of all time so despite an average of just under 37 that has to say something about his batting ability, he also averaged close to 49 in FC cricket with 41 tons in 226 matches compared to imran's 30 tons in 382 matches.
as far as fielding goes, miller is by far the better fielder.
so for me it makes it very tough, i think miller is the better bat (though not in outcome at test level obviously), and i think miller is also the better fielder. but what about bowling? is imran so far ahead that as genuine all rounders imran's bowling pushes him ahead of miller?
let's leaving captaincy etc out of it. imran was a terrific captain and mentor. for the record miller was also considered a terrific captain, he didn't get to show it at test level but many that played under him and/or saw him captain believe he was one of the best captain's they had seen.
All Time Test XI: 1 Hobbs 2 B.Richards 3 Bradman 4 Pollock 5 V.Richards 6 Sobers 7 Gilchrist 8 Miller 9 Procter 10 Botham 11 Warne